Economic Opportunity

Overview

Economic Opportunity in Boston

The GBCC and our members are committed to developing and implementing a united response of the business community to the economic inequality across race facing the Greater Boston region. Our members understand the business case for inclusion and know that economic equality is an imperative for the economic health and growth of our business community and region.

Economic Opportunity Committee

The Economic Opportunity Committee advises the Chamber on initiatives, policies, and programs that are focused on building a thriving economic where economic opportunity is available to all. In addition, the Committee will support the implementation of initiatives focused on increasing minority representation in the private sector through supplier diversity, access to internships and jobs, and other diversity, equity, and inclusivity-focused efforts.

This committee meets quarterly. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Justin Kang, Vice President of Economic Development.

Committee Chairs:

 

Robert F. Rivers, Chairman and CEO, Eastern Bank

Bob is a passionate and visionary leader who believes that doing what’s right and smart means building a strong business by doing good things to help people prosper. During Bob’s tenure, Eastern has built upon its long legacy of community service and philanthropy by developing a robust advocacy platform in support of various social justice and sustainability issues. In 2014, Bob co-founded Eastern’s innovation venture, Eastern Labs, which earlier this year spun out Numerated Growth Technologies, a new fintech company offering a state-of-the-art small business lending platform. Bob has been personally recognized for his work in championing social justice and sustainability issues by a number of organizations and outlets such as: The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, The Partnership, Get Konnected! and others.

 

Steven H. Wright, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

Steven is a distinguished Boston-area attorney, serving as lead counsel and strategic advisor for several Fortune 500 companies, addressing complex commercial, corporate, intellectual property, litigation and regulatory matters. He is named as a “Best Lawyers in America” for commercial litigation, a member of Best Lawyers National Advisory Committee and a “Super Lawyer” for business and corporate law. In his capacity at the Boston Fed, Steve serves as the Bank’s senior legal officer and advisor, providing strategic counsel to the Bank’s leadership. He is a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee and leads the Legal Services Group.  He is also a member of the Bank’s Diversity Advisory Council and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Bostonians by the Boston Business Journal. 

 

Committee Members:

  • Zamawa Arenas, Founder & CEO, Flowetik LLC
  • Anne Bailey Berman, Co-founder & Chair, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Inc.
  • Prabal Chakrabarti, Senior Vice President & Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Donna Cupelo, Region President, New England Verizon
  • Darren Donovan, Managing Partner, KPMG LLP
  • Herby Duverné, CEO, Windwalker Group
  • Pamela Everhart, Senior Vice President, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments
  • Gerald Francis, President, Keolis Commuter Services
  • Sandy Lish, Principal and Co-Founder, The Castle Group
  • Paul Parravano, Co-Director, Government & Community Relations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Lee Pelton, President, Emerson College
  • Walter Prince, Partner, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
  • Marcy Reed, President, Massachusetts and EVP US Policy & Social Impact, National Grid
  • Thomas Riley, Managing Director, CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management
  • Bob Rivers, Chairman & CEO, Eastern Bank
  • Darryl Settles, President and Managing Partner, Catalyst Ventures Development, LLC
  • Micho Spring Chair, Global Corporate Practice & President, Weber Shandwick
  • Bob Sullivan, Managing Partner, Korn Ferry International
  • Fletcher Wiley Esq., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Steven H. Wright, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Pacesetters

Launched in 2018, Pacesetters is a partnership of large and midsized companies and anchor institutions who use their collective purchasing power to create opportunities at scale for local, ethnic minority-owned businesses. Pacesetters is aligned with the work of the Chamber’s Committee on Economic Opportunity which is charged with developing the united response of the business community to economic inequality. 

In just one year we’ve onboarded over 68 MBEs as Pacesetters Priority Suppliers and recruited an additional nine Pacesetters companies to join the cohort in 2019. These Priority Suppliers represent industries ranging from restaurant and food services, to marketing and public relations, to construction, technology, and more. We host regular quarterly meetings with our Pacesetters designed to share best practices and hold networking events designed to facilitate quality connections between Pacesetters and our suppliers. Our work earned us two prestigious recognitions: a Get Konnected GK100 Award for Game Changing Ideas in Diversity, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Boston Branch Corporate Leadership Award. 

Skills First Internships 

The Chamber is pleased to officially launch the Skills First Internships program with the goal of providing equitable access to quality internships in Greater Boston for college students of color and students from non-traditional backgrounds. Through Skills First, we also hope to encourage organizations to rethink hiring strategies and lead in the creation of a diverse workforce that is more reflective of our region. 

This innovative platform is a skill-based, identity blind hiring platform that reduces hiring bias by substituting the traditional resume with a standardized application that puts the focus solely on the applicant skills rather than school names.

Launching the pilot in May 2019, we have worked with business partners as well as pipeline partners such as college career services offices and college access and success organizations - like UMass Boston, Bottom Line and the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology – to funnel students to these internship postings.

City Awake

City Awake is the GBCC’s platform for next-generation leaders in the Greater Boston area. We know that talent and workforce development are top policy priorities for the business community. In order to attract and retain a talented workforce, we must engage next-generation leaders, understand their perceptions of Greater Boston, address their challenges living and working here, and elevate their voices in creating solutions to the most pressing issues facing our region. We convene, empower and celebrate these leaders and their contributions to our economy and community.

 

Creating economic opportunity and mobility for young professionals, and particularly young professionals of color, is key component of City Awake. Each year, City Awake hosts the Fierce Urgency of Now Festival, a multi-day focused on exploring the experiences, challenges, and opportunities for young people of color in Boston. For more information about City Awake please visit CityAwake.org.